About Me

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I have spent a great deal of my life battling illness. I suffered from Crohn's Disease and eventually had abdominal surgery, thwarting the Crohn's and budding cancer cells. Since my surgery in 1995 I have been relatively free from Crohns', although I had several subsequent surgeries related to my ileostomy..When my disease was in remission, I don't think my husband realized how bad it could get, but he has stood by me. I also have suffered from various autoimmune disorders and am diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Disease. Fortunately, I am maintaining and do not need dialysis at this point. We adopted our son and later found out he had cerebral palsy, so he became my career. Dan has had two surgeries and tons of therapy and is able to walk because of it. He is a college graduate and is employed as an Information Specialist. We are very proud of his accomplishements. I am now part of the retired generation and still getting used to the idea. I do enjoy crafting, traveling and being with family and friends. I am active in my church and feel that the hardships we endure are there to build our faith. I like to live life in the "now" as we never know how much time is left.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"It Only Hurts Me When I Cry"

If I ever have bursitis again, or any kind of pain, it will have to be debilitating before I get another Cortisone shot! 
I heard they hurt, but what was worse, is that I found out I have a sensitivity to the cortisone.  I had the shot last Thursday, had a massive headache for two and a half days.  Sometimes it would let up a bit, but then would come back!  I also felt jittery, got flushed, felt famished all the time and couldn't sleep!  Anyway, the pain is gone, I have one more day of physical therapy,
and then I can return to life as usual!  Woo hoo!

My sister and I had tickets to go with the Senior Center to The Island, Chip-Inn Casino to see Dwight Yoakum, a country singer.
That was Friday night (yes, I had a headache and kept taking Tylenol).

On the way up north, we had a delicious chicken dinner.  When we got to the casino, we each got $20 in promo play and $2 coupon towards dinner. 
I won $50 on my first $5 of my promo.  Then went on to play further and kept on winning.  In all, I think I won $150!  IN THE BANK for a trip to visit my cousin in Florida.



On the bus ride home, we watched, A Beautiful Mind.  I had never seen it before.  (I cried).

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I have been sharing political memes on Facebook with a vengeance.  I think I have displaced my anger and grief  about my friend's cancer, and took it out at our current administration.  I never
said anything derogatory about anyone specific, but I got lambasted by a church friend who is quite conservative.  It is sad, because I never directed anything towards an individual, but something must have struck a nerve, because she let me have it.  Her words cut me like a knife.

I already could not sleep because of the cortisone, and now I felt so deeply hurt, as she was also a friend of Linda's.

I have never prayed so much!  I asked God what to do.  First, He told me that HE is in control, and I don't have to worry about the government.  He also convicted me that I should be the one to reach
out to the woman who hurt me.  I wrote a very nice letter of apology, and I pray she accepts it.
I asked if we could agree to disagree, and I am no longer posting anything political
on Facebook!  I am going to keep it nice and light, with maybe some Godly inspiration thrown in the mix!

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This grief thing is a process, isn't it?  A friend told me the four stages of grief.

1. Denial and isolation

 2. Anger

 3. Bargaining

 4. Depression

 5. Acceptance

I think I have skipped #3 and have been fluctuating between 1, 2, and 4 for some time now.






Saturday, January 21, 2017

Some of This and a Little of That




Today I was at Kevin’s.  Linda’s kids were there going over things.  There is SO MUCH!  I think she was a bit of a hoarder!  Everything was, “you know, you might need this someday.”  She had a nice collection of dolls, but I don’t want anything like that.  I just wanted my little DeMarco statue that said friend, a plant, and some odds and ends.  Kevin gave me her fitbit.  (Didn’t want that going to Goodwill).  I am undecided about things.  Everything is attached to memories, and makes me cry right now.  I might change my mind about some of the clothes, and just put it away for a year.  If I feel differently next year, I can wear it, otherwise will donate it then.  She had tons of purses, everything!  It is so sad.  One sees how much of a lifetime is attached to things.

She had a ton of jewelry, Red Hat stuff, etc.  I told Kev if he wants to get all the Red Hat stuff together, we can put it on my pool table, and I will have the ladies have at it.

Happy to report that Kevin is doing well.  He, too, had been grieving for a long time.  He said the house is so quiet.  I told him, he might have to put HGTV on for background noise!  He is just trying to move on.  Linda had a lifetime in that house, so he has much to go through and give away or whatever.  He is working, playing cards on Wednesday with his golfing buddies, going out for fish on Fridays at the golf course.  Tomorrow he will watch the Packer game with his daughter and her husband at his twin’s house. 

***********************


I am going to try and get back at the church's scrapbook.  I also am trying to get back into Bible Journaling.

This is my latest entry.  I was inspired by Jesus' baptism.  John 1:29  "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the World."



*********************

This is not typical Wisconsin weather.  Two weeks ago, it was below freezing with the wind chill.
Jim could not sell his wildcard tickets, so he and Dan went to the game.  The high was 13°
It was an exciting game, against the Lions, but Jim said never again!

They got to the game early and took this selfie.

Monday, we had an ice storm.    No fun driving my son to work!  He almost fell, and I had to walk him to the door!  (I had offered earlier, but he's so independent!)

This week has been rain, rain and more rain.  The snow is melting.  It is in the 30's and supposed to get to the 40's next week.  I think when Old Man Winter comes back, he'll be back with a vengeance!



Sunday, January 8, 2017

I CHOOSE JOY

Well, it's a new year!  Where do I start?  I start with the memorial service of my dear friend,  Linda.

It was a beautiful service.  The pastor really touched upon all the points about her faith that Linda wanted to share with her family.  He also shared how creative and how full of fun she was.  Of course, I cried, but it was kind of off and on, as it was with her family.

Last Fall, when I was having a hard time knowing how to "be" with Linda and her cancer, we went to a women's faith retreat. That weekend, I think Linda and I were both trying to come to grips with her cancer in different ways, and for different reasons.  She retreated into herself, and I sought support from others.   I just couldn't be there emotionally for her. 

Linda had become very critical of me, and that is why I kept my distance for a time, but one day I realized it didn't matter.  THIS wasn't Linda.  It was her anger at the cancer, or the chemo, that was making her so snarky towards me, and I would just ignore it.  I will never know if it was me, or the chemo, or the cancer.  I will never know if she was intentionally pushing me away, or if I was trying to withdraw emotionally.  At some point, it didn't matter.   I emailed her and told her that I loved her for 26 years and I was always going to love her.  She told me she loved me too.  (I'm saving that email)  We got together a couple of times, and when it started to look like it was the beginning of the end, we both told each other we were sorry for hurting one another and held each other and cried.  Again, I told her that I loved her and she would always be my best friend. 

So, it's a new year, and I must go on.  Linda told me that I had to go on without her.  She knew me, just as she knew how my body responded to the stress of her cancer.  Both she and her husband didn't want me to get sick again.  I did what I could, but feel it was never enough.

*******************

So, I go on.  I am having physical therapy this week for bursitis in my left hip.  I am meeting a new friend and my sister for lunch on Thursday.  I am back to blogging.  I have made a new friend through Linda's blog and cancer support group.  Last Fall at the retreat I became closer to another woman who invited me to go along with her to another retreat in February!  (more about that, in February.)  At the end of the month, my sister and I are getting on the bus to see Dwight Yoakam
at a casino up north.

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So, I go on, and I choose joy!


I bought this from someone who has her own Bible Journaling group and stamp shop. Korin Sutherland also has a shop on etsy  When I saw this, I had to have it.  2016 was not the best year for me.

Next week Bible Study starts up again!  I have been trying on my own, but I love to meet with the ladies!

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Hope my post wasn't too depressing.  A blessed New Year to all my readers!

Friday, December 23, 2016

You'll Always be My Friend

I wasn't quite ready to write this.
My dear friend of 26 years has left this world.  Several times she had heavenly visions.
Even her husband, who has not always been the most spiritual person, saw an
apparition bending over her bed.  When he got up to look there was no one there; no one in the hallway.

Linda's husband Kevin, took very good care of her.  When he had to work, he made sure that one of her friends was with her over lunch time till she was ready to rest again.  When he had off, he was there from morning till night.

Last week Friday, she took a turn for the worse.  Kevin was called from work.  He stayed with her
all the time, even overnight, barely sleeping but went home a few times to shower and get fresh clothes. 

Kevin had told me that the time was close for Linda. I had not been there since last week Tuesday, but on Tuesday the 20th, I asked my husband to go with me to the nursing home.  Jim is also Kevin's friend. I thought it would bother me, but it didn't.  She was resting and at peace.

 I held her hand while I was there.  Kevin and Jim talked about everything under the sun.  I think it did Kevin some good.  We stayed a few hours, so Kevin, too, could rest.  Later on his sister and her husband came to keep him company.

I received a call later that night.  Linda had passed around 8:30pm.  I have been crying off and on, but I have been in mourning over our loss for a long time.  That is the thing with cancer.  The person you once knew is not the same anymore, but somewhere in that frail, failing body, was my Linda!

Oh sure, we had our misunderstandings, but the important thing is that we always made up and in the end we had resolved any hurts, holding on to one another and vowing to always be friends.

I prefer to remember the strong, laughing Linda!  Memories of our walks, going to Bible Study together, sitting next to each other in church, road trips, retreats, stamping, scrapbooking, thrifting, so many adventures!

Even with the chemo, Linda loved to sit on her deck and enjoy the sunshine.
Now she basks in the light of our Lord!

Linda, I love you!  You'll always be my friend!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Some Memories of Linda

I had to write this while I am still calm.  Some are excerpts from my posts in Facebook.

My relationship with my best friend goes on for 26 years. Linda's husband, Kevin, was married to my younger sister who passed away from metastatic cancer. I didn't want to like Linda, but for the sake of Kevin's kids, we would make the best of it. We had things in common and became good friends. We were ying and yang in our personalities, but yet, complemented one another. We have had our ups and downs, our rough spots, but like many relationships, we have always managed to get beyond them. Many times Linda has been there for me through my illnesses, and now I can only do my best to be there for her.

I wish I could go all the way back to Linda and Kevin's wedding (but where ARE those photos?).  All pre-computer, and all in boxes and a mess!

In 1995, I had abdominal surgery.  Linda was
my sub for me when I had it so I could keep my
thriving Avon business going!  Here we are
enjoying a pontoon ride after one of our Avon
dinners.

In 1995, Linda decided that we should have a Red Hat
group and I should be queen of
The Royal Purple Belles!

We enjoyed our trips to Florida to visit cousin,Shirley.
This time my sister came with, and we enjoyed a
tour with our cousin's Red Hat Group!


We enjoyed traveling and loved our trip to New Orleans!


Linda invited me along to meet up with her friend
from Ohio.  This was shortly after her
breast cancer treatment.


Her hair grew out a beautiful blond with a hint of red. 
I was invited to her oldest grand daughter's confirmation.

Celebrating one year cancer free with the Cancer Survivor's walk.


Celebrating together with her other good friend
at her wedding anniversary!

                       
Linda wanted an ugly sweater contest for our
Christmas party last year.  Of course, she knew
she would win!

We enjoyed going on retreats together, whether it was
a spiritual retreat or a crafting retreat.  This was our
last trip together in September.


Friends Forever


I can feel the love and prayers of others. Linda is ready to meet her Savior and I'm at peace with that. She wants me to think of the good times. I am still sad cause I will miss her when she is gone, but I know I will see her again and she will have that glorious smile in heaven!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Life is Like a Bad Dream

I tried going to Silver Sneakers, our exercise class at the Senior Center, but it is difficult to go without Linda.  Also, I need the time for her or for myself when I am not with her.

On November 4th, Linda, my sister, and me went out to lunch.  Linda was having trouble with her balance, but if she walked slowly, she could do it.  A little over a week later, everything was different. We had a nice visit, although she could no longer be trusted to walk on her own.  It was good.  We held each other and cried.  Said we would always be friends.  The next day some of her grandkids came to visit, and that, too, was an eye opener for them.  Still, it was a nice visit, and the kids were glad to see Grandma, and she, them.

 She had fallen twice, the last time ending up with her in the hospital.  She had just gone limp in her husband's arms, and he called the ambulance.  That was in the wee hours of
November 15th.  Her husband called me that morning.  She stayed in the hospital until that Friday and began her radiation treatments.

On Friday she was moved to a group home.  On Kevin's days off, he is with her from about 9:30 till bedtime.  I have been there most days.  She always has a friend or relative accompanying her in the van to radiation near the hospital.  We stay until after she has eaten lunch.
She no longer goes on her phone or laptop.  Mostly she just rests.

The goal for Linda is to stay strong enough to be able to go home on Christmas Day.

My Thanksgiving was a lot of work, and hardly seems worth it for the few of us.  I did have my nephew, Linda's stepson, here for the meal.

I do not feel like crafting, like making cards, like socializing.  I want to crawl in bed and have this all be over with.   It is like a really bad dream from which we cannot wake up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hard for Me to Blog

I don't feel like uploading photos.
 
I am so tired.
 
My best friend, Linda, is in the hospital.  In one week's time, she lost her ability to walk on her own and has difficulty speaking.  I saw her Saturday (and Sunday) and I was in shock.  I can't tell you how many tears I cried.
 
We each forgave one another for the hurts we caused ..  Said that is behind us.  We held each other, cried and promised we would always be friends.
 
This last week, Linda fell out of bed, then Monday night had a horrible episode where she went limp, passed out, and possible seizure.  Her husband called the ambulance.  She went to ER and was admitted to the hospital.  I spent most of the day there.
 
Today she is starting radiation.  Hopefully it can reverse some of the damage to her brain, buy her more time to be spent with her loved ones.  She is fighting this for her grandkids.
 
Much has happened since my last blog.  I went on a scrapbooking retreat with my cousin as she was visiting me from Florida.  Everything seems like small potatoes now.